Call it the first branch on the Nate Oats coaching tree. Buffalo Bulls Director of Player Development and former ACC Player of the Year Julius Hodge is leaving Buffalo to take on a role as an assistant coach at Santa Clara. He will join his college coach Herb Sendek, who is taking over the program.
At Buffalo Hodge assisted with the evaluation of video, development of practice and game schedules, game planning and acting as the academic and community liaison.
Hodge was a first round draft pick coming out of NC State, picked 20th overall by the Denver Nuggets. He played with the Nuggets for parts of two seasons before he was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in 2007. Following that season, he began an international playing career that spanned 12 different organizations.
Sendek most recently coached at Arizona State where he was replaced by none other than Bobby Hurley, who coached in Buffalo from 2013-2015.
The Broncos last made the NCAA tournament in 1996 in a WCC which has been dominated by Gonzaga. Their most recent post season success came in 2013 when Santa Clara won the CBI tournament.
This is the kind of thing that happens when you're successful. Hodge moves from a more personnel and management role in Buffalo to a role under his former mentor which could be a stepping stone towards a future head coaching position. It's a sign that the things happening at Buffalo are getting noticed by other departments and coaches throughout the country.
It will fall to UB head coach Nate Oats to find a replacement for Hodge at Buffalo. Last year Oats did a fantastic job assembling a staff after Hurley's departure and hopefully that eye for talent is as keen as it was last year.
Congratulations to Coach Hodge and we all wish him success at his new post.